se·ri·al / ˈsi(ə)rēəl/ • adj. 1. consisting of, forming part of, or taking place in a series: a serial publication. ∎ Mus. using transformations of a fixed series of notes. ∎ Comput. (of a device) involving the transfer of data as a single sequence of bits. See also serial port. ∎ Comput. (of a processor) running only a single task, as opposed to multitasking. ∎ Linguistics (of verbs) used in sequence to form a construction, as in they wanted, needed, longed for peace. 2. (of a criminal) repeatedly committing the same offense and typically following a characteristic, predictable behavior pattern: a suspected serial rapist. ∎ (of a person) repeatedly following the same behavior pattern: he was a serial adulterer. ∎ denoting an action or behavior pattern that is committed or followed repeatedly: serial killings serial monogamy. • n. a story or play appearing in regular installments on television or radio or in a magazine or newspaper: a new three-part drama serial. ∎ (usu. serials) (in a library) a periodical. DERIVATIVES: se·ri·al·i·ty / ˌsi(ə)rēˈalitē/ n. se·ri·al·ly adv.
Serial ★★★ 1980 (R)
Fun spoof of hypertrendiness—open marriage, health foods, fad religions, navelgazing—in Marin County, the really cool place to live across the Golden Gate from San Francisco. Mull in his first lead is the oddly normal guy surrounded by fruits and nuts. Based on Cyra McFadden's novel. 90m/C VHS . Martin Mull, Sally Kellerman, Tuesday Weld, Tom Smothers, Bill Macy, Peter Bonerz, Barbara Rhoades, Christopher Lee; D: Bill Persky; W: Rich Eustis, Michael Elias.
1. Involving the sequential transfer or processing of the individual parts of a whole, such as the bits of a character. Compare parallel.
2. Another word for sequential.